Headwaters Outfitters

Tubing Trips
Canoeing & Kayaking
Canoe Camping

Located in Rosman, NC between Sapphire and Brevard, Headwaters Outfitters offers several different paddling/float packages on the French Broad river. They also carry a nice supply of fly fishing and paddling gear.

Distance from downtown Greenville: 47 miles.

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Mabry Mill

Much like Hagood Mill, Mabry Mill is a step into the past. Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway in southwestern Virginia, the mill is open for tours. There are often volunteers on site working as blacksmiths, spinners, millers and demonstrating other 19th century occupations. On the weekends local bluegrass musicians stop by to play a mix of traditional tunes, folk and bluegrass music. A gift shop and restaurant are also located on the premises.

One of the things that I like about this particular mill is the intact and fully functional water flume that runs throughout the premises.

If you like old historic places like this but want something closer to home check out the Mountain Heritage Museum in Old Fort, NC, the aforementioned Hagood Mill in Pickens, the Cradle of Forestry in Brevard or the Roper Mountain Science Center here in Greenville.

Distance from downtown Greenville:231 miles.

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Art Opening Today, August 22nd

From my friend Tim Speaker:

"On Saturday, August 22nd, I will have an opening at the Bang Salon in Greenville. The x/+ exhibition will present work found previously in the XTRMNTR series.

"The opening will be around 5, and will feature 3 live bands. Bitterman, Feeding the Fire, and the Dixie Ramblers will all rock the Bang. Come out and check out some art and listen to some tunes.

"Bang Salon is located at 1 Wade Hampton Blvd."

Distance from downtown Greenville: A short walk. (Across the street from the Handlebar.)

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Nature Find

Check out this site. You just type in your location and it delivers you information about nature related events and locations.


Green Creek Winery 4th Annual Anniversary Celebration

From the Green Creek Winery:

September 5, 2009
10am - 6pm

Green Creek Winery will be hosting our 4th annual Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, September 5th from 10:00am to 6:00pm. Free admission and parking, live music, local art and crafts vendors, a Blessing of the Harvest, a rose workshop (Easy Rose Care by Paul Zimmerman of Ashdown Roses at 11:00am and 2:00pm), a chance to win prizes if you dress up like Lucille Ball, and everyone is invited to stomp grapes.

Wine will be for sale by the glass or the bottle. For this anniversary there will be a 20% discount on all cases - September 5th ONLY. Great food will be available for purchase.

Don't forget your lawn chairs and blankets. No pets or coolers please.


Allow me to vent briefly.

On a camping trip in March, while hiking the Art Loeb Trail, a friend and I found the defacement seen here at Tennent Mountain, NC (which I've written about previously). It was the first and only vandalism I had noticed anywhere near this vicinity.

A few weeks ago another friend and I were camped near Graveyard Fields and we came across a great campsite by a nice river located between a couple of waterfalls. Someone had built a really nice fire pit beside the river. Unfortunately in the pit we found seven or eight water bottles and beer cans, a condom wrapper, and a Bi-Lo bag full of something that neither of us were willing to investigate. So we were left with the task of cleaning up the site and hauling all of this out. To make matters worse, about two hours after setting up camp I walked back up the trail and noticed where three people had left human scat, uncovered, toilet paper and all, within about four feet of the trail, on the uphill side, about fifteen feet from the river. That's disgusting.

Yesterday I was back on Tennent Mountain and discovered where several young girls (judging by their 1990's names) had continued the tradition started by Jonfun and Devo. In addition I also picked up an empty water bottle and empty beer can (Pabst Blue Ribbon of all things) on the same trail.
So all of this has left me pondering a couple of things. First of all what the hell is wrong with people? Are they simply so self-absorbed that they don't care about anyone else or the natural settings they are in? Secondly, is it possible that somehow this little blog has helped to create these problems? I don't get a ton of hits but I did get 6038 unique visitors in 2008 and have 5300 so far this year. Is it possible that I actually led these people to these spots with my little postings? I sure hope not. My goal has always been to bring these great spots to the attention of people who will also appreciate them and protect them, not destroy them.
So if you read this blog and decide to explore these places please respect them. Pack out all trash, and pick up trash you see left by others. Make sure all fires are extinguished. Don't pee in the streams and rivers and if you have to squat in the woods do it at least 70 paces from any water source. Dig a hole first with the heel of your shoe and then cover it afterwards. And for godssake, if you're going to haul beer in at least take something more drinkable than Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Here are a couple of resources for anyone spending time in the wilderness:
And if Jonfun, Devo, Shashy, Sam, Ellen, Megan, Chloe, Kendall, Aubie, Abie, Kellie, Taylor, Sasha or Lexi happen to come across this, please redeem yourselves by contacting one of the following and offering to assist in trail cleanup and maintenance.

Old Fiddler's Convention

74th Annual August 3 - 8, 2009
from their website:
Before the second weekend in August each year, lovers of country and mountain music leave their homes in time to be in Galax, VA for the Annual Old Fiddler's Convention. For some this means hundreds of miles of travel, while for others it will be a short trip from their nearby homes. Most of these people don't play music, and come just for the listening and renewing old acquaintances.

However, a few hundred come with their instruments to show their skill, and compete for the cash prizes which total thousands of dollars. But most of them would come without the prizes being offered. They want to see and be seen, and hear and be heard. The instruments vary from mouth harps in pockets to bull fiddles strapped on top of cars. Many of these musicians have played in most of the conventions since 1935, but this group is growing smaller by the year.

The Old Fiddler's Convention was originated in the spring of 1935 when a few members of the then new Moose Lodge #733 needed something to raise funds and promote publicity. In a newspaper item at the time it was stated that the Convention was dedicated to "Keeping alive the memories and sentiments of days gone by and make it possible for people of today to hear and enjoy the tunes of yesterday". The original purpose is held in the same regard today, and the sponsors feel that in some measure this purpose has been accomplished.

Two conventions were held in 1935, but by the last one that fall the indoor facilities had been outgrown, and the convention was moved to Felts Park, and has been held there each year since except when weather forced it indoors temporarily. One convention was omitted during World War II, due to limitations of travel.

The Old Fiddler's Convention has grown steadily until now each year people must be notified often that SRO is available in the park and room for parking is filled.

In 1965, a Saturday afternoon program was started to relieve the pressure on Saturday night. In 1967 NBC-TV covered the entire three nights and Saturday afternoon. A few years ago a Wednesday night performance was added. In 1999, Tuesday night competition was added. A Fiddlers' Youth Competition was added in 2000, which added Monday night to the schedule.

A unique aspect of the convention is the camping area where the musicians rehearse and try to get in tune. Some listeners and onlookers follow these bands around and lose contact with what's happening on the stage. Often dancers and players try out their abilities in the parking lot when they would not dare go on the stage.

Contestants must register in advance of the convention and there is no charge for registration. Some of these come from distant states and at times from foreign countries, but when they play, the tunes are usually the same that have been heard at the convention down through the years.

In the early years, the contestants came chiefly from Carroll, Grayson, and adjoining counties in Virginia and North Carolina. Now bands and individual performers come from the big cities, the college campuses, and every place where the old music is loved and played.

The promoters feel that the Annual Old Fiddler's Convention is fast becoming a tradition in country and mountain musical circles, and will do their best to continue bringing to you the tunes which have been handed down from generation to generation in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The fact that many of the contestants are youngsters is encouraging, and we feel that the future of Folk and Country Music is secure.

Distance from downtown Greenville: 218 miles.

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